PAX Prime 2013 – Rumble Academy Q&A With Kriss Vanags (Live)

There were a few surprises at Pax this year of some gem games that I had never heard about. One of those surprises was a game is called Rumble Academy. It’s a game in the same vein as Smash Bros., but on a flat 3D plain instead of a 2D map. Parts of the level come and go and the objective is to knock everyone else off of course!

From left to right is Robert Christian, Jennifer Limson, Liam O'leary, Kriss Vanags, Adam Pinto, Madison Bryant.

From left to right is Robert Christian, Jennifer Limson, Liam O’leary, Kriss Vanags, Adam Pinto, Madison Bryant and they make up the talented team of Big Paw Games.

During Pax Big Paw Games had one stage to play on and the combat was simple and fun.  You had ranged and melee fighters and all the damage done was done to weaken the other players.  The secondary move made your character stationary, but if this charged move hit anyone with low health they’d go flying off.  Sure you could jump over certain moves, but when there are two other people attacking you… yeh it was a lot of fun.

These guys get the short end of the interview stick though since the first half of the interview didn’t record properly.  So you guys miss out of the fact that what I played at Pax had been programmed in three weeks and was honestly good enough to pick up for a few bucks.  I’ve tried my hand at programming and I’m terrible at it since I didn’t do it for very long, but three weeks to get up this working demo is crazy awesome!

More chaos insued as parts of the level are taken away as you can see on the right side there. I believe I had to play the pink haired heroine, not normally my thing, but anything for science right?

More chaos ensued as parts of the level are taken away as you can see on the right side there. I believe I had to play the pink haired heroine, not normally my thing, but anything for science right?

This isn’t the whole interview and my most humblest apologies to Adam Pinto for somehow losing his bit of the interview (75% of the interview that is).  I feel really bad about it, but when technology craps on you, you’ve just got to … make lemonade?  Moving on, I got into a bit of the nitty gritty with Kriss Vanags so here’s that portion:

TVGBL: So you want to price [Rumble Academy] at $5 just because you want to get a lot more people playing it?

Kriss Vanags: Yeh, we’re looking at having Rumble Academy be very much a casual game that anyone can play.  So we’re looking at a very low price point because not a lot of people want to pay a lot for a game they don’t know.  Or a game that they may not always play. So we’re just trying to get as much people as we can and get as much of a diverse market as we can into it.

TVGBL: You said something about DLC.  Are you going to add more maps?  Are you going to release with just this one or with multiple maps?

Kriss Vanags: We’re going to release with multiple maps and multiple characters so it may be eventually down the line that we release with certain amount of characters and maps.  We’re going to aim at releasing more characters, more maps and just expand as much as the community wants us to.  So we’re just going to base it on how popular we are on how much content we’re going to release.

TVGBL: Are you going to be charging for that additional content?

Kriss Vanags: Yeh we’re going to be charging for it, but again it will be at a very low price point.  So it’s a low barrier of entry for people that want to keep playing our game so someone could have a booster pack or three of the packs for like $5 so it just depends on how it all goes.

TVGBL: So you’re not going to be selling it per character though…

Kriss Vanags:  No no, totally going to be a pack. So it’s a game about high school students so it’s going to be like a faction of them so the nerds, the geeks, all that type of thing so if we find an extra one we’ll add those in.

Player 1 using his special move and aiming at... not much other than desks.

Player 1 using his special move and aiming at… not much other than desks.

TVGBL: Will you be able to play other people that have those packs if you don’t have them?

Kriss Vanags:  You’ll probably be able to play the characters, but the maps, you’ll probably have to own those ones.  As for characters we’ll just keep adding them to the roster.

TVGBL: So you guys are based in Sydney, what are you guys going to do about servers?

Kriss Vanags: We’re aiming at having a local and internet servers, so wherever you are it can be local or internet server no dedicated servers.

I sure hope they get this on Steam and have buddy list support.  That would be super awesome!

Take note that the prices are subject to change.  They are still developing the game, but if Rumble Academy does come out at the price of $5, I will be picking this up day one and telling my friends to do the same.  This game came out of nowhere and having only played two rounds of it, I’m already sold.  As much as I love this game it can not compete with Smash Bros.  That being said, Smash Bros. is only on Nintendo Consoles and having this on the PC means I may get a lot more play time with it which makes me one happy camper.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


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